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Santa Barbara County OKs Funding, Operating Agreement for Goleta Fire Station

County will contribute $1.5 million toward the $7.6 million project in western Goleta near Sandpiper Golf Club

An artist’s rendition shows what a new fire station in western Goleta might look like. The Goleta City Council and County Board of Supervisors have signed an agreement for operating and funding the new station.
An artist’s rendition shows what a new fire station in western Goleta might look like. The Goleta City Council and County Board of Supervisors have signed an agreement for operating and funding the new station.  (Contributed photo)

A new Santa Barbara County fire station for western Goleta gained final approval this week, with county officials agreeing to sign a joint-operating agreement with the city of Goleta.

Fire Station 10 is proposed for a 2-acre, city-owned parcel at 7952 Hollister Ave., across the street from Sandpiper Golf Club and next door to The Hideaway residential development.

The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a memorandum of understanding with Goleta, whereby the city will provide an easement so the County Fire Department can use its property. Goleta contracts with the county for fire-protection services.

In return, the county will contribute approximately $1.5 million in AB 1600 Goleta Fire Protection Fees towards the $7.6 million project.

The Goleta City Council agreed to sign the MOU in January, although, according to county staff, documents will have to be signed again due to minor revisions since then.

The new station was a long time coming, since western Goleta was identified decades ago as not meeting emergency-response guidelines set by the National Fire Protection Association.

“Just a fantastic job by everybody,” said Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, one of many congratulating the overall efforts.

Staffing levels are expected to remain the same initially, with three existing positions at Fire Station 11 on Storke Road moving to Fire Station 10.

Funding for the station, which could open as soon as summer 2019, is coming from Goleta fire development impact fees over time ($3.1 million), county development impact fees (nearly $1.5 million) and from city agreements with The Hideaway and Village at Los Carneros residential developments ($1.7 million). 

The city already put the remaining $1.3 million toward buying the site and conducting environmental studies for the land that will house the one-story station with three bays, at least one large multipurpose room for training, and a fueling facility.

The county has been collecting development impact fees since 1999, when officials adopted the Goleta Fire Protection Fee ordinance requiring certain new developments in the Goleta planning area to pay fire mitigation fees.

Initial incremental costs associated with Station 10 were primarily related to miscellaneous equipment and facility operations and maintenance, which were estimated at approximately $150,000 annually.

Goleta and the Fire Department will share the maintenance costs.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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